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Perception of Tinwiki

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posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 05:54 AM

As a few of you may have seen, over in the "Aliens & UFOs" forum I'd raised the Tinwiki as one of the potential tools for fighting stagnation of UFO research.

I thought it worth posting a link to that discussion in this forum, as several of the responses to my post gave various reasons why several members of ATS do not wish to participate in Tinwiki.

Those reasons included:

(a) A concern (sometimes based on experience, sometimes not) about edits which remove the content of, or mess up, entries;

(b) Concerns about being associated with Tinwiki because of its name and the link to tin foi hat wearers.

(c) A view that Tinwiki is not the place for including information demonstrating the facts behind sightings, including hoaxes.

The relevant thread is at:

My post is about half way done the second page, and several comments on the Tinwiki follow it.

For ease of reference, I'll cut and paste a bit from my post below:

Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Judging from the limited number of entries and edits on the Tinwiki, and the relatively limited activity on the Tinwiki working forum (see the link below) compared on the activity on other forums on ATS, either many people don't know about the Tinwiki or they don't wish to contribute to it:

In my humble opinion, the Tinwiki will only become a worthwhile resource if more members of ATS (or non-members for that matter...) start entries or edit the existing entries.

Having seen the amount of determination, initiative and research put into the current competition on ATS (Alltheufoanswers), perhaps ATS should have a competition for the best new entry on Tinwiki as a means of generating interest in the Tinwiki?

Even if a competition did not involve a prize which costs real money (e.g. if the prize were just the award of some points) it would at least raise the profile of the Tinwiki and make members think about creating an entry.

I think the competitive instinct of members of ATS would mean that a competition generated quite a few good entries on Tinwiki.

By the way, I got a U2U notifying me of applause in relation to my post, which was a pleasant surprise.

Kind Regards,

Isaac Koi

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 11:11 AM
As far as the editing goes, we (myself and the editors) keep a pretty tight eye on that. We have had people try to vandalize work before, but it is a simple matter to undo any destructive acts, so that nothing is lost. Also, I am speaking with Springer to take further steps to avoid unwanted edits should there be an effort to further ufo research on the tinwiki.

As far as the name "tinwiki" goes, I have heard some people complain about the name since its inception. Personally I find it as a light-hearted name. I wish there was some way to make everybody happy with the name, but thats just not realistic, I suppose. I don't forsee the name of the siite being changed.

Whatever you choose to do, I am here to try and help.

posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 11:15 AM

Originally posted by William One Sac
Whatever you choose to do, I am here to try and help.

I thought it worth summarising the points that arose when I tried to encourage participation by others.

Those points didn't stop me creating a few entries (although I'm not a big fan of the name), and I'll be creating some more when time allows.

All the best,


posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 03:14 AM

Originally posted by William One Sac
As far as the editing goes, we (myself and the editors) keep a pretty tight eye on that. We have had people try to vandalize work before, but it is a simple matter to undo any destructive acts, so that nothing is lost. Also, I am speaking with Springer to take further steps to avoid unwanted edits should there be an effort to further ufo research on the tinwiki.

William, I'm curious about this. I am a professional proofreader (22 years), and I'd be willing to contribute those skills. If I cleaned up punctuation and made minor grammatical edits (I'm an adherent of descriptive grammar, so I wouldn't make stuffy, prescriptive edits), would that be permissible? or is this activity reserved for designated editors? or is proofreading unnecessary at this early stage? Call me crazy, but I'd have more fun reading entries and proofing at the same time rather than just reading.

Also, if this kind of proofing is permissible, then what to do with entries utilizing British punctuation rules? Can/should they be changed to American rules for consistency?

posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:47 AM

Hello. Yes, grammatical and punctuation cleanups and so on are contributions and so are welcome.

There are only two things people do in tinWiki that are not welcome, and neither of the two things are contributions; one is to deliberately ruin articles, the other is to post spam.

In the matter concerning British "vs" American punctuation rules, I assume that articles written about British topics, possibly most likely written by British people, can have British punctuation. (This is how I have seen they say it in a another, totally unrelated to tinWiki, wiki called Wikipedia, and given that I seem to remember having read that tinWiki is supposed to be an international website -- unless I remember wrong and never read that -- it might be a reasonable stance for tinWiki as well. However, this is simply my personal thought and I do not decide this kind of matter in any way, to be clear.) However, inside any given one article, no more than one rule should be followed, I don't think I'm saying too much if I say that... Except, of course, for quotes, which should naturally be left in their original form.

You may want to take a look at the Style guide for general information about the topic of punctuation and grammar. Some other pages that may be useful are Editing Tinwiki; Tutorial; and Policies, conventions and guidelines, all these three pages can be found via the Help link in the tinWiki navigation panel (in the side bar to the left, visible on all pages).

Any other contributions you might have are also welcome, in addition to editing language, grammar, punctuation and so on. If you are concerned that perhaps something you write, I don't mean grammar corrections now but adding new material, isn't "perfect", then you may be glad to hear that every article has its own discussion page where people can communicate about the article and how to best present information about its topic.

You can also contact any user since every user also has their own such talk page. It is possible to contact even those who don't have a user name, since edits by non logged in users are registered by their IP address instead. And then there is this general forum also, of course.

Every article in tinWiki has what is called a history. This means that every edit becomes nothing more than a version in a list of versions, and this list can be viewed in each article's history page. Like every article has a discussion page, it also has a history page. Should you, or anyone else, make some kind of mistake and save that edit (there is a preview function as well, by the way, which is useful while editing), then it is very simple to revert the state of the article to some earlier version.

No problem.

tinWiki has a defined topic and some rules and guidelines. For its actual encyclopedic content, however, it is relying on people "off the street" to come in and create pages and work on already existing articles. This is basically what a wiki is.

And since there are several people doing this together, exactly as it is supposed to be, communication is obviously a nice and useful practice to have as part of the process of writing and improving this encyclopedia. Like your post now, for example.

If I was able to clear up what you were not sure about, then I'm happy. If I was unclear, please let me know and I will try my best to provide any information I can to help. Please note, though, I just "walked in off the street", I am not acquainted (thank you firefox spellchecker :-) with anyone here from before, I wasn't a member of ATS before some time after I started "hanging around" tinWiki, and I frankly haven't read or know all the Help files and guidelines and so on in tinWiki. I am however learning new things every now and then, both little technical things and so on and the things that are about what type of website tinWiki should and should not be.

So, anyway, welcome to tinWiki, yuefo. :-)


[edit on 2-9-2007 by Optimist]

posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 09:31 AM

Hello. I have a thought about the three reasons you mentioned concerning why several ATS members do not wish to participate in tinWiki, and so want to reply about that.

Regarding the view in the first one, "(a)", I feel it is important to take into account exactly what a wiki is. A wiki is not the type of place for publishing a finished article, like one might do in for example a blog or some online journal/magazine or similar. The word "wiki", which as I understand it is Hawaiian for "fast", points to the feature such websites and their pages have of being quick and simple to create and edit. It's just to click the edit button, make the changes, click save, and "voila", you have now changed that website.

Those who are not interested in working inside this format, are not interested in working on tinWiki, given that tinWiki is precisely a wiki, and not by mistake or coincidence, at that.

For those who however would like the idea of creating information articles on the web using the wiki type of website, it is an integral part of every article that there is a discussion page and a history page. The discussion page is a natural tool considering the collaborative nature of wiki article creation, and the history page means that every edit made (saved) is merely a version, and the history page allows reverting to earlier versions (for example in the case of vandalism, spam, or other).

Removal of content, meaning deliberate vandalism, is easily reverted.

However, removal of content done by someone who disagrees about what belongs in the article for it be as good as possible, or messing it up, meaning someone has a different opinion on how the article should be and changes it accordingly, those things are part of what a wiki is. Concerns about such things means, like I say, that one maybe just doesn't like the idea of working in a wiki. Which is fine, of course, but at the end of the day, as they say, tinWiki is a wiki.

About the second reason, "(b)", that is of course a matter of opinion and so on. Personally, my thoughts about the name is it is tailored for exposure to those who are not already interested in the type of topics which tinWiki is about. If the name was instead, say, Conspiracy Research, to use as an example another conspiracy related wiki, then I think that name would sound alright for those already interested in the relevant topics, while "joe average" would quite possibly picture some very strange individuals sitting around in front of their computers wearing precisely tin foil hats...

So, my view is that the name tinWiki demonstrates awareness of how the area of topics and the people interested in those topics sometimes appear to outsiders, so to speak, and so perhaps lessens the impression that this is something very "internal" or such, and I imagine very few people who come across tinWiki are likely to believe the name was chosen because everyone "involved" with the site has a rich assortment of tin foil hats in their closet, or on their coffee table, or wherever. If the point of this encyclopedia is to be an information source that the most people possible can feel is relevant to them, as opposed to be something very "internal" to say the conspiracy theory community or such, then I feel the name is quite good. In my view, if creating information about the topics covered in tinWiki has any relevance whatsoever, then that information should be as widely accessible as possible.

The view in reason number three, "(c)", concerns a topic that I think is quite interesting. I noticed the other day that a tinWiki page was deleted because the topic has been discovered to be based on a hoax.

In my view, which I have expressed a little bit before, as an information resource and encyclopedia, tinWiki should amass as much information as at all possible, without limit -- except for its defined perspective, focus, area of interest. As an example,

[continued in part 2]

posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 09:36 AM
[part 2]

general articles about Marvel comics don't belong, but, an article about Earth does, in my view, belong -- because and to the degree that Earth has some relation to tinWiki's area of interest, which, obviously, includes a lot of "space" and "planet" stuff. The Earth article should not be a general article, and should not resemble for example the general and thorough article in Wikipedia, but should be shaped according to the frames of tinWiki and according to how the article relates to those frames.

Likewise, my personal view is that the way to go for tinWiki as an encyclopedia with its specific perspective, is to cover all and any information possible that is relevant given its perspective. This includes hoaxes, to the degree that they had any effect on the "alternative information body" and the people interested in such information -- if I post on ATS saying I am Superman and can fly, that's not a hoax I'd deem worthy of an article, but well-known hoaxes that had some kind of impact and so on should, in my view, definitely be covered in tinWiki. Such articles could for example belong to a category called Hoaxes. On a side note, it's probably useful if such articles don't portray hoaxers as "brilliant geniuses", might instead include a link to some article about why certain people don't have anything better to do with their time.

This, my comment to "(c)", is just my thought though, but hopefully it can at least contribute to the process, which I assume will need to happen at some point, of defining a little more specifically what information is wanted and not wanted in tinWiki.

I consider it was a very useful and creative addition to what I picture is a development of tinWiki, all the things that you mentioned, the thoughts people have about the encyclopedia. I think tinWiki is a really great project, but the website is obviously still in its beginning in some ways, which means creative communication and some establishing of some things concerning what and how the site should be and function is necessary to make the fundamental "concept" of tinWiki more complete. Something like that is my impression of the current state of tinWiki, anyway.


posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 10:50 AM
Hi yuefo, I would just like to reiterate what Optimist has said above, and what IsaacKoi has said here. You do not need to have the official "Editor" status to edit articles on tinWiki. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the site. My suggestion to you would be to start out small, by fixing spelling errors, grammar or punctuation. Just simply click edit on any page, make the correction and then save the changes at the bottom. You will find it is quite easy, once you have gotten familiar with some of the basic formats.

Also, Optimist is quite correct, both British and American punctuation rules are acceptable.

posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 02:48 PM

Originally posted by Optimist
I have a thought about the three reasons you mentioned concerning why several ATS members do not wish to participate in tinWiki, and so want to reply about that.

Thanks Optimist.

As I've mentioned in another thread, my current burst of activity on Tinwiki is a prelude to a few posts and articles which will seek to encourage members to participate in the Tinwiki.

I felt last year, when I had my last burst of Tinwiki activity, (and continue to feel now) that unless more members participate, we are basically wasting our time. Without more participation, Tinwiki will never fulfil its potential for avoiding reinvention of the wheel within ufology.

I think some of the points you made in your two-part post, and some that I'd add, are worth referring to when I start promoting the Tinwiki in my forthcoming posts. In the spirit of Tinwiki, I think it worth creating a Tinwiki page on encouraging participation. I'd be grateful if you could have a look at that page when I post it, and make any additions or suggestions you think fit.

All the best,


posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:06 PM

The page is great as I mentioned also in a reply in the separate thread about the new page, and it is nice to hear you found my input (my two-part post) interesting. I know what you mean that tinWiki is a potential "powerhouse", so to say, of a basically inestimably meaningful and explosively significant database, but that it can appear like this potential is wasted or lays dormant right now. (Not too sure about my metaphors or what one says, exploding powerhouses don't sound good...)

In my view, nothing that is done is ever wasted time, "from," as Obi-Wan Kenobi put it, "a certain point of view," lol and -- I'm not really joking, though -- I think tinWiki does matter and is an important website even now, being as small in certain ways as it is. You know what they say about the mighty oak and yesterday's nut and so on. tinWiki will become what it should be (no, this is not really a prophecy lol..) lol and when that happens it will be only because of the things that were done along the way and "little" initiatives here and there and the basic perception of some people that the site and the whole project has merit and is of importance.

The site is maturing, at least that is what I think, and pieces are falling into place to make the site into something like a "complete" experience for users so that it is a comfortable place to visit all the time. That process of it becoming such a complete experience for visitors and users is something I imagine takes time, but with persistence and the very serious ATS to sponsor it, my imagination is that the encyclopedia is definitely moving towards its right place and function, I basically mean "function" in the sense function in society.

Since I don't at all think knowledge and information is anything like its role in society sometimes seems to indicate, I feel that the purpose which tinWiki aims to serve is a very legitimate, real, obvious and important purpose, if however a somewhat neglected purpose on this rather confused world. But information technology is some great stuff, and, stepping back a little bit, as they say, I can't imagine very many information technology uses that are more important than what tinWiki aims to be and has already started to become. After all, we, people, do have a lot to learn, and I wouldn't trust neither these school teachers nor the television to tell us all there is to know -- or should I say all we need to know.

Ok, perhaps I got a little into the spirit there. :-) Basically what I'm saying is I perceive tinWiki's mission to not be based on lunatic imagination or some passing "fad", and, even though my knowledge about the whole alternative knowledge "world" is admittedly very limited, I think it's safe to say that the tinWiki website is among those best positioned with regard to serving this, in my view, extremely important mission of creating this kind of info which -- for some or other sad and unsettling reason -- "people" or "society" might sometimes seem to not want in existence. Good words to end this post with now might be, the majority isn't always right, and reality will out.


posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 01:47 AM
TinWiki is a great tool, but I feel like it's not living up to its potential. It needs more articles and an advanced category system like Wikipedia uses. I just added my first page on Yoshihiro Kawaoka who may be involved in the mutation of the H5N1 virus into a more deadly form. I was confused how to categorize the article because there was no section for H5N1, but there were articles on designer diseases and human experimentation filed under conspiracy theories.

Wouldn't research and the addition of articles be much more streamlined with an advanced category system?


Conspiracy Theories>New World Order>CFR>David Rockefeller

It could work like a matrix of information. Overall theories have a page, related people, events, organizations, places, etc...

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 10:07 AM
You're right. The tinWiki can definitely use more articles. I think that is one of the problems facing tinWiki right now. I think though that that might resolve itself in the near future. As for the categories, I see your point. Initially, when we started tinWiki last year, we didn't want a ton of categories. I guess we felt that the subject matter was too limited. But now I see what you are saying. A more complete category tree would help people find the information they want more easily. But you know, tinWiki is a collaborative effort. You can also create the categories you'd like. Although now that I think about it, I do think it says that categories can only be created by editors. I will have to change that, as it is possible for anybody to create a category. I think new categories are fine, as long as they are kept alternative/conspiracy related. In any event, I will take your advice and add some new categories. And by all means, if you see a need for a category, then create one.

I am also awarding you 5,000 points, for your article and for taking an interest in tinWiki and offering your opinions. Thanks!

posted on Nov, 13 2007 @ 10:37 AM
My contribution to the effort has been rather minimal to date, a fact which I intend (yes I am aware of the paving project to Hades) to rectify in the future.

I too feel, from what limited time I have been able to spend in the material there, that this is a very important project. My hat is off to all that have worked so hard to see this work being done.

I look forward to the time when I see tinwiki being referenced in articles being posted in the forums. This might be one of the best ways to "advertise" it's use, and one which I will make an effort to follow myself in the future. Perhaps TPTB here at ATS could find a way to award some small points to those posters who us this resource, thereby increasing it's visibility.

posted on Dec, 9 2007 @ 03:27 AM
I, too, agree that it makes sense what was said about the category system, and have followed it up a little bit by making some sub-categories. I want to mention just a couple of things that are on my mind as far as categories.

Firstly, it's just recently that it 'dawned' on me really that categorized can be organized in that tree sense by making one category part of another category, and so on. But, this will not show in the category list itself, to show such structures there needs to be created a page where it's written out manually. At least this is my impression.

My view about categories is that it is also important to keep in mind that it doesn't make sense to create too many of them. For example, just as an illustration, if tinWiki had only, say, ten articles, creating one category for each article (let's assume they were about different types of topics, all of them) would not ease the access to material but instead create an impractical extra 'step' for the reader. For me, categories is something that is created when the number of 'items' becomes too high for it being possible to keep a simple overview over what's there. That is when categories come in to help, and I'd say the categories are then what makes the difference between the information collection being on the one hand too big for any practical use, and on the other hand being a really powerful information base and practical tool. (Of course, modern computer software information bases tend to have that great search feature, which allows extracting relevant information, but right now we're talking about categories, which is kind of a different kind of topic, just like Google has both a Search feature and a Directory feature, which are two somewhat different things.)

As for the thing about number of articles, somewhat in relation to the thing about number of categories I want to briefly just mention something I talked about previously. Even with tinWiki's specific focus, it's practical useability as an Encyclopedia demands, in my view, that some perhaps surprising topics need to be included. The example I used before (I think): even if it's not what one would immediately think about when thinking about conspiracies and UFOs and so on, I believe that an article about the topic "Planet Earth" actually belongs in tinWiki. The article's size and focus should, naturally, reflect tinWiki's core or area of interest, but the article is in fact warranted, again, in my view, since the topic of UFOs would lead any curious mind to wanting information about what this planet is and isn't, which these UFOs supposedly arrive on from somewhere which is *not* Earth, and so on. By the way, this is of course just one of several contexts in tinWiki where our planet comes into the picture. Pretending anyone disagrees with me on this, I'd continue to say that, limiting what can be talked about is to limit thought, and so to limit understanding, which would be totally contrary to the meaning of having an encyclopedia in the first place. I say this only while keeping in mind that tinWiki is, of course, not a general encyclopedia and that the whole point of tinWiki is to create a body of "alternative knowledge" information. Just want to make it clear that I respect tinWiki's purpose.

In addition to categorizing a couple of categories inside other categories, I have also created some entirely new categories. These are, I expect, categories which may surprise some, or at least they seem fairly different from the original or first ones that existed in tinWiki. But I feel they describe types of topics that actually basically "make themselves" part of tinWiki simply from tinWiki being what it is. One example of these new categories I made is "Musicians". I made that category from the point of view that tinWiki is about creating (relevant) information, not about not creating information. Which means, one of tinWiki's most central topics is September 11, which is [continues below]

posted on Dec, 9 2007 @ 03:28 AM
[continued from part one]

an incident that has created a social/cultural movement around it, which includes songs, which are made by musicians. In other words, like "planet Earth" is a topic in the periphery of the "Aliens" topic (and others), there are actually musicians who are topics in the periphery of the 911 topic. And, again, my view is that relevant information, all relevant information, should actually be in tinWiki -- even if only to the degree, and in a form, which reflects what tinWiki actually is, which is an "alternative knowledge" encyclopedia.

I also made for example a category called "Authors", where I added the "Alex Jones" article, as well as a little stub article called "Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt", and probably some others.

In addition to articles and a good category system, I feel that the website structure itself is important. I believe that continuing to improve how the website structure itself reflects and conveys what tinWiki is all about is important to the website's value as an encyclopedia. Lately, I've tried to contribute to this part, and also succeeded with some things. For example, the Community portal link in the Sidebar now goes to an internal portal page (which has a link on it that goes here to the forum). I also managed to add the option to request a page when a search doesn't find a page, the default setting offers only the option to create that page, but now there is also a link to the "Wanted pages" page for entering a request. I have also contributed to the actual Community portal page I mentioned, and also have tried to bring up the Current events page as a central feature of tinWiki, which I believe is a kind of feature readers may see as an interesting page for information in this encyclopedia.

Anyway, I'm just talking away about stuff I personally am thinking right now, and I of course realize that others may have totally different views. :-) Anyway, comments, including criticism, are welcome.


posted on Dec, 9 2007 @ 03:46 AM
reply to post by NGC2736

This is a great thought, and in addition to agreeing that it would be great to see a post name a tinWiki article as a source for information, I feel you are bringing up a true and important issue about how that would also be very important publicity. I think it would get tinWiki more interest from people interested in reading, and also would encourage people to both write and to write better than they already do.

I think that's a very important aspect, what you bring up there.


posted on Dec, 9 2007 @ 08:52 AM
Does anyone know about how the copyright works at tinwiki compared to wikipedia, and the wiki software? An idea that just struck is that for any article of interest, if the copyright and markup format matches up OK, then for many articles tinwiki could just use the wikipedia article as a basis. For a lot of subjects that would mean it would be easier to get a page off the ground, then any conspiratorial aspects of the topic would be free to be extended upon at tinwiki far more than at wikipedia, with their undue weight rules.

posted on Dec, 9 2007 @ 10:17 AM

I am glad to see your initiative and interest in tinWiki, but in my reply I will point out some reasons why I feel your suggestion (as I understand it, that is) maybe won't really help tinWiki in the long run.

As to your questions, here are links to information about tinWiki's copyright and software. About pasting material from Wikipedia, much of their codes do not work in tinWiki. Also, Administrator Umbrax has (again, as I understand him) expressed that pasting Wikipedia articles is not wanted in tinWiki. Personally I agree with him very much on this, and feel that articles should be created by people who have knowledge about the subject. In the long run, I feel tinWiki's significance and quality can only be based on knowledgeable active first-hand writers. I think I do see 'where you're coming from', though, as I think they say. If you look at the pages I've started, you'll see that I'm basically creating pages 'east and west', just to get them started, even if I basically don't know anything about their respective topics. But I would say that, at least I know what I've written in those pages. Another method which I consider contributes to creating some sort of 'basis' for the tinWiki encyclopedia (that is, another method than creating a first version of an aritcle even if it's neither long nor complete) is the Wanted Pages page, which I also use fairly often to write down at least a title when I have absolutely zero words that I can think of to put in a page. Just trying to say I think I know approximately what you're thinking (that's just an expression, by the way... : ), and I like your interest and that you are coming up with initiatives here, I think attention and ideas is how tinWiki will continue to improve. Anyway, what I've said here is just my view, others will perhaps reply totally differently.


edit: put in a forgotten word..
edit: checked the 'disable smileys' box and put in a space in an unintended smiley code...

[edit on 9-12-2007 by Optimist]

[edit on 9-12-2007 by Optimist]

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